Greetings Friends on this Holy Monday – You can listen to The “I Think Speech” Podcast HERE – On this day we remember how Christ uses the grove of fig trees to reveal to the disciples how the ‘Hosannas’ of the previous day were mere illusion, the last fruits of the old visionary clairvoyance, given by nature, & bound to the body. The seemingly harsh words He uses about the fig tree are a challenge to that ancient ecstatic vision. Here a momentous decision is made in the history of humankind. On that Monday in Holy Week Christ rejects a temptation. Had He allied Himself with the ancient clairvoyant forces, He might have found public recognition, like Judas wanted. Not only would the people have sung “Hosanna”; they would have crowned Him King. But a final pronouncement is made: Christ will find no link with the ancient forces. His sole aim is that humankind should find the way to awakening & freedom. Christ Jesus rejects the Hosannas of the people, bringing about the reversal in the cries of “Crucify Him”. For His mission is to show Humanity that we must act out of a consciousness that leads to freedom, even if it means tragedy; even if men in their spiritual blindness nail Him on the cross.
His curse on the fig trees of those who had lent him the donkey is one of tough love. He acts purely from the nature of his Sun-Being, for when the Sun rises, the Moon inevitably goes pale. So the moon-forces of the old vision must fade away.
Then The Christ appears before the Temple, where many pilgrims are feverishly buying, selling, trading & bargaining. The Passover lamb must be slaughtered, & this is a source of big business; for the custom demands that the animals be brought to the Temple before they are sacrificed. Old Annas, the notorious miser of world history, knows how to make a profit. He has already made a vast fortune from this market. He has been the back slapper & string-puller in the corrupt political compromise with the Romans which is the basis of the Temple business. The pilgrims must change their local currency into the ‘official Roman currency.’ So the Temple has become an Exchange market. The Roman money men have even been admitted to the Temple, even though they are agents of the ‘Cult of Caesar’, because it was hoped by this compromise to at least keep them out of the Holy of Holies.
Now Christ comes on the scene. He is there to fulfil the custom of the feast. But when he sees this ungodly exchange, the fire of His burning will takes over. There is no need for Him to say much. The people are immediately seized with panic. Terror-stricken, they realize the decadence they have fallen into. The conscious restraint which was exercised by Jesus for 3 years is entirely transformed & has become the intensity of divine & human will combined. In their hearts the people know He has the right to tear down the mask of decadence in the Temple.
Matthew: 15 On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, 16 and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. 17 And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’]? But you have made it ‘a den of thieves.’”
18 The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching.
~hag, with gratitude for the indications from Mark 11: 12-25 & Christian Community Priest Emil Bock
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY:
3 April 33 – According to the spiritual scientific research of Rudolf Steiner, Today is the Death Day of Christ Jesus…The original Good Friday when the Mystery of Gologtha occured.
& at the same time in Mexico Vitzliputzli crucified a powerful black magician. “Now at a certain time a being was born in Central America who set himself a definite task within this culture. The old, original inhabitants of Mexico linked the existence of this being with a definite idea or picture. They said he had entered the world as the son of a virgin who had conceived him through super earthly powers, inasmuch as it was a feathered being from the heavens who impregnated her. When one makes researches with the occult powers at one’s disposal, one finds that the being to whom the ancient Mexicans ascribed a virgin birth was born in the year 1 A.D. and lived to be thirty-three years old. These facts emerge when, as stated, one examines the matter with occult means. This being set himself a quite specific task.
At this same time in Central America another man was born who was destined by birth to become a high initiate of Taotl. This man had in his previous earthly incarnations been initiated as described above and through the fact that he had many, many times repeated the procedure involving the excision of the stomach, which has been described to you and which there is no need to recapitulate, he had been gradually equipped with a lofty earthly and super-earthly knowledge. This was one of the greatest black magicians, if not the greatest ever to tread the earth; he possessed the greatest secrets that are to be acquired on this path. He was faced directly with a momentous decision as the year 30 A.D. approached, namely whether or not, as a single human individual, to become so powerful through continuous initiation that he would come to know a certain basic secret. Through knowledge of this secret he would have then been able to give such a shock and impetus to the coming evolution of man on earth that humanity in the fourth and fifth post-Atlantean epochs would have been thrown into terrible darkness, with the result that what the ahrimanic powers had striven for in these epochs could have come into existence.
Then a conflict began between this super-magician and the being to whom a virgin birth was ascribed, and one finds from one’s research that it lasted for three years. The being of the virgin birth bore a name that, when we try to transpose it into our speech approximates Vitzliputzli. He is a human person who, among all these beings who otherwise only moved about in spirit form and could only be perceived through atavistic clairvoyance, in actual fact became man, so the story goes, through his virgin birth. The three year conflict ended when Vitzliputzli was able to have the great magician crucified, and not only through the crucifixion to annihilate his body but also to place his soul under a ban, by this means rendering its activities powerless as well as its knowledge. Thus the knowledge assimilated by the great magician of Taotl was killed. In this way Vitzliputzli was able to win again for earthly life all those souls who, as indicated, had already received the urge to follow Lucifer and leave the earth. Through the mighty victory he had gained over the powerful black magician, Vitzliputzli was able to imbue men again with the desire for earthly existence and successive incarnations.” ~ Rudolf Steiner, The Mexican Mysteries and the Knights Templar Inner Impulses of Evolution lecture 3
1925 – The Cremation of Rudolf Steiner at the Horburg cemetery in Basel
The following moving descriptions of experiences and observations from the time of Rudolf Steiner’s taking leave of the earth are taken from an article by Werner Schäfer, whose selections we reprint here with his kind permission. They may speak for themselves without further commentary and serve to create a unifying mood for all those who would like to commemorate Rudolf Steiner’s being and work on the 95th anniversary of his death.
Ilona Schubert summarized in the following words what certainly corresponded to the experience of many people at that time when they said goodbye to Rudolf Steiner, whose body was laid out in the studio:
“Silence weaved in the room. In deep sorrow, but also with infinite gratitude and love in their hearts, those present raised their thoughts to their great leader and teacher. The next morning – on the 3rd of April, the historical Good Friday – was the cremation, which was celebrated by Dr. Rittelmeyer with the ritual of the Christian Community, in the old crematorium in Basel. An immense crowd had arrived, and the small abdication hall could not accommodate them all. So the majority stood outside in the open air. I, too, was among them and could only follow the celebration from a distance. But it was no less a deep experience. Bright blue skies and bright sunshine, singing birds in the newly awakened world of spring – it was a magical Good Friday atmosphere like in Wagner’s “Parzival,” which united all of the people, inside and outside, and unified them in the consciousness that they have now given the final guiding direction to the one who is among the greatest spirits of mankind and whose work on earth they had been allowed to witness.”
The following report by Dr. Heinrich Hardt comes from the cremation of Rudolf Steiner’s body in Basel on April 3, 1925 (from “Mitteilungen aus der anthroposophischen Arbeit in Deutschland,” Easter 1950):
“It was a cloudless, radiant spring sky under which the immense crowd gathered around the Basel Crematorium, which was full of people inside. Stuten’s music had faded away, and Albert Steffen’s speech was audible in fragments to us who were standing in the open air. Deep sorrow ran through me over the decease of the beloved teacher, and still another particular sorrow over the imminent departure of his precious earthly form, his spirit-imbued head, his grace-filled starry brow. All this was now to be handed over to the elements. – Warm memories of his indications and revelations, which are intimately connected to all of nature – the plants, the animals, the elemental beings – pervaded my soul, and despite all the dignity and beauty which had been bestowed upon the whole happening by human hearts and hands, I somehow felt: it could not be otherwise than that Nature herself, who is not compliant to us human beings, expressed her own participation in this hour. The nature beings themselves, who are fraternally familiar to our spiritual teacher – yes, they must, they will show their participation, simply their visible presence; otherwise, this unique, at the same time so painful and yet so sublime hour would remain incomplete. – At the gable of the grey crematorium one could see the shape of a large antique vase, and I looked toward it with a searching, expectant gaze: When and where does the large, beautiful bird come from, which sits on it, ignoring the closeness of so many people and thus proving that its presence is not accidental? – But the vase remained as it was. – There – it may have been two or three minutes later – quiet seagull cries and a very gentle roar caused me to look up at the sky. What did I see? – Exactly vertically above the crematorium, at a height of about 40 meters, stood a structure like a living crown. It was comprised of about 22 to 24 seagulls. Their flight was cheerful and lively. In front of the bright blue sky, their plumage sparkled silver and, on their breasts, gold. An indescribable triad of colours! From time to time, individual birds swung through the circle in half-lemniscate form and arranged themselves in a new order. The whole crowning wreath, this crown crowning everything as if held by the hands of gods, remained in exactly the same place for minutes. I nudged my friend on the right, and we looked up for a long time, deeply moved. A look at the others standing nearby showed us that, unfortunately, probably no one but us looked up. One felt impelled to call out, to nudge others, to draw their attention – we were, after all, still so young! – but the thought of creating a disturbance through such actions made us remain silent. – Only very gradually did the wedding flight – as the ornithologists call such an event – slowly float away, preserving its circle, backwards to the right as seen from our perspective. But just then, the open sun flashed forth! Our eyes were forced to close as the feathered, livingly moving high crown approached all too near with its radiant attire. – Most inwardly shaken by the beauty of this freely given, deeply touching event, we then left the site with the others, looked into the silently flowing Rhine, and thanked those birds as if out of secret solidarity for their indescribable encircling round.”
The following is taken from “Astronomy and Anthroposophy” (1930) by Elisabeth Vreede. It describes a newly shining star on star atlases and globes, called “Nova 1925.” (See also Rudolf Steiner’s lectures of June 4, 1924 [GA 236] and July 6, 1924 [GA 237].)
“Most strange was the developmental process of [a Nova], which was illuminated to a strongly visible brightness, and which was first seen on May 25, 1925. It appeared in a constellation of the southern hemisphere, which bears the name “the easel of the painter.” (The star is therefore called: Nova Pictoris.) It thus has a position that is entirely unique in the chronicle of the Novae, because these usually appear in or near the Milky Way, while this star is rather near the southern ecliptic pole. Since the star-rich southern sky is not observed as continuously as the northern one, the appearance of the star could go unnoticed for a long time. In any case, one later discovered that it figured on older photo plates as a star of size 13, and that it was already a star of size 3 on April 13th, 1925 – in other words, it had already become clearly visible, such that, in contrast to the aforementioned stars, it had a very slow increase and perhaps entered into the range of visibility at the beginning of April. On June 9th of the same year, it was almost a star of size 1; then it slowly decreased again to a star of size 9.” (The new star may therefore have appeared immediately, or three days after, Rudolf Steiner’s death…
“In January 1926, it was seen surrounded by a strongly reddish aureole, like a solar protuberance. In March 1928, it suddenly appeared as a double star; it had split – a phenomenon unknown to new stars up until now, such that even astronomers of the northern hemisphere at first did not at all want to believe their colleagues from the southern hemisphere who had observed it. Then, one spoke much of unexpected world catastrophes and reminded of the fable of the frog, which wanted to inflate itself to the ox and then burst – by assuming, on the basis of the spectrum, that the star had not actually become hot, and that its enormous increase in brightness (50,000 times, after a calculation) could be attributed only to an actual surface enlargement, which had become the undoing of the star. But we do not need to be confused by these materialistic explanations. – At the same time, the star surrounded itself with nebulae, as also occurs otherwise, so that for a while it offered the spectacle of two red stars, surrounded by a veil of nebulae. Soon thereafter, it even split again, and there were four stars, one brighter in the middle, three smaller ones all around, all of whitish color and immersed in a rosy nebula. According to the relatively few astronomers who could observe it, it was a wonderful spectacle. Then rings formed around the individual stars. Over time, the individual parts moved even further apart.” (Does this apparition not bring to mind the scene arrangement in the Mystery Dramas for the three soul forces, where the central forms of “Maria, Philia, Astrid, Luna appear in a glowing cloud of light”?
The following observation by Annemarie Dubach-Donath, one of the first Eurythmists, comes from nature during springtime. She later calls to mind Rudolf Steiner’s “Butterfly Cycle” (1923, GA 230), as she brings together Rudolf Steiner’s death with the content of these lectures:
“They were unspeakably beautiful, blooming spring days in which this holy death was received by the earth. And in the following summer months, white butterflies flew in flocks such as I had never seen during any summer before or after in the Dornach meadows and grounds. This sight reminded us again and again of the glorious words Rudolf Steiner had spoken a year-and-a-half earlier in the 1923 autumn lectures about butterflies, the colourfully shimmering messengers of the spiritual world. With nostalgic wonder, we looked at the delicate miracle; at times, a distant, spiritual smile seemed to shine out from it.”
Epilogue by Marie Steiner in “The Course of my Life” by Rudolf Steiner:
“His life, consecrated wholly to the sacrificial service of humanity, was requited with unspeakable hostility; his path of knowledge was transformed into a path of thorns. But he walked the whole way, and mastered it for all humanity. He broke through the limits of knowledge; they are no longer there. Before us lies this path of knowledge in the crystal clarity of thoughts of which this book itself affords evidence. He raised the human intellect up to the spirit, permeated and united it with the spiritual Being of the cosmos. In this he achieved the greatest human deed. The greatest divine deed he taught us to understand; the greatest human deed he achieved. How could he escape being hated with all the demonic power of which Hell is capable? But he repaid with love the lack of understanding with which he was confronted.
He died – a Sufferer, a Leader, an Achiever –
In such a world as trod him under foot,
Yet which to raise aloft his strength sufficed.
He lifted men; they hurled themselves against him,
They spewed forth hatred, blocked his forward way.
His work they shattered even as he wrought it.
They raged with venom and with flame,
And now with joy defile his memory: —
“So he is dead who led you into freedom,
To light, to consciousness, to comprehension
Of what is Godlike in the human soul,
To your own Ego, to the Christ.
Was this not criminal, this undertaking?
He did what once Prometheus expiated,
What gave to Socrates the poisoned cup –
The crime Barabbas wrought was not so vile –
A deed whose expiation is the cross:
He lived, himself, the future there before you.
“We demons cannot suffer such a thing.
We harry, hunt, pursue who dares such deeds,
With all those souls who give themselves to us,
With all those forces which obey our will.
For ours is the turning point of time
And ours this humanity which sickens,
Without its God, in weakness, vice, and error.
We never yield the booty we have won,
But tear to pieces him who dares such deeds.
” He dared – and, daring, he endured his fate—
In love, long-suffering, and tolerance
Of weak, incapable humanity,
Which ever all his work in peril set,
Which ever misconstrued his uttered word,
Which misinterpreted his kind forbearance,
And in their littleness knew not themselves,
Because his greatness was beyond their compass.
’Twas thus he bore us – we were out of breath
In following his stride, his very flight
Which ravished us away.
’Twas our weakness
That was the hindrance ever to his flight,
The lead that weighted down his forward footsteps….
Now he is free, an aid to Those on High,
‘Who take whatever hath been wrung from Earth
As safeguard of Their goal.
So now They greet The son of man who his creative power,
Unfolded thus to serve the Gods’ high will;
Who, for the age of hardened intellect,
And for the time of dead machinery,
Stamped clear the Spirit, called die Spirit forth….
They hindered him.
The Earth in shadow moves,
n cosmic space now see the shaping figures;
The Leader waits; the heavens part and open;
In joy and reverence stand the rangéd hosts.
But Earth is wrapped in gray enshrouding night.”
Dear Friends, May the veil between the worlds part to unite us in our thinking, feeling & willing with the spirit of Rudolf Steiner, a true initiate, & beloved teacher.
Feast Day of Mary of Egypt. also known as Maria Aegyptica. In Goethe’s Faust Mary of Egypt is one of the 3 penitent saints who pray to the Virgin Mary for forgiveness for Faust. Her words are set by Mahler in his 8th Symphony, as the final saint’s appeal to the Mater Gloriosa. Her Story: At the age of twelve she ran away from her parents to the city of Alexandria. Here she lived an extremely dissolute life. In her Vita it states that she often refused the money offered for her sexual favors, as she was driven “by an insatiable & an irrepressible passion,” and that she mainly lived by begging, supplemented by spinning flax.
After seventeen years of this lifestyle, she traveled to Jerusalem for the Great Feasts of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. She undertook the journey as a sort of “anti-pilgrimage,” stating that she hoped to find in the pilgrim crowds at Jerusalem even more partners in her lust. She paid for her passage by offering sexual favors to other pilgrims, & she continued her habitual lifestyle for a short time in Jerusalem. Her Vita relates that when she tried to enter the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for the celebration, she was barred from doing so by an unseen force. Realizing that this was because of her impurity, she was struck with remorse, & upon seeing an icon of the Theotokos (the Virgin Mary) outside the church, she prayed for forgiveness & promised to give up the world (i.e., become an ascetic). Then she attempted again to enter the church, & this time was permitted in. After venerating the relic of the true cross, she returned to the icon to give thanks, & heard a voice telling her, “If you cross the Jordan, you will find glorious rest.” She immediately went to the monastery of Saint John the Baptist on the bank of the River Jordan, where she received absolution & afterwards Holy Communion. The next morning, she crossed the Jordan & retired to the desert to live the rest of her life as a hermit in penitence. She took with her only three loaves of bread, & once they were gone, lived only on what she could find in the wilderness.
Approximately one year before her death, she recounted her life to Saint Zosimas of Palestine, who encountered her in the desert. When he unexpectedly met her in the desert, she was completely naked & almost unrecognizable as human. She asked Zosimas to toss her his mantle to cover herself with, & then she narrated her life’s story to him, manifesting marvellous clairvoyance. She asked him to meet her at the banks of the Jordan, on Holy Thursday of the following year, & bring her Holy Communion. When he fulfilled her wish, she crossed the river to get to him by walking on the surface of the water, & received Holy Communion, telling him to meet her again in the desert the following Lent. The next year, Zosimas travelled to the same spot where he first met her, some twenty days’ journey from his monastery, & found her lying there dead. According to an inscription written in the sand next to her head, she had died on the very night he had given her Communion & had been somehow miraculously transported to the place he found her, & her body was preserved incorrupt. He buried her body with the assistance of a passing lion. On returning to the monastery he related her life story to the brethren, & it was preserved among them as oral tradition until it was written down by St. Sophronius.
In Italy, this Mary became associated with the patronage of fallen women much like Mary Magdalene, to whom similar traits were associated.
Feast Day of Saints Agape, Chionia, & Irene (Greek: Αγάπη, Χιονία και Ειρήνη meaning Love, Purity, & Peace, born in Thessaloniki) 3 virgin sisters who, were martyred for their faith in the year 304 AD. The story of their martyrdom is the subject of Dulcitius, a 10th-century medieval Latin drama by the secular canoness, Hrotsvitha of Gandersheim, the first known female playwright.
1682 – Deathday of Rosamunde, Princess of Cyprus – There is a play by Helmina von Chézy, with music which Franz Schubert composed for it. The story concerns the attempt of Rosamunde, who was brought up incognito as a shepherdess by the mariner’s widow Axa, to reclaim her throne. The long-established governor Fulgentius , who already has Rosamunde’s parents on his conscience, attempts to thwart Rosamunde, initially by intrigue, then by a marriage proposal & finally by an attempt at poisoning. Rosamunde, whose claim is backed by a deed in her father’s hand, enjoys the support of Cypriots & the Cretan Prince Alfonso, her intended husband. Finally, all the attempts of Fulgentius fail; he dies by his own poison, & Rosamunde ascends the throne.
1895 – The trial in the libel case brought by Oscar Wilde begins, eventually resulting in his imprisonment on charges of homosexuality
1897 – Death day of Johannes Brahms, German pianist & composer
1922 – Joseph Stalin becomes the first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
1968 – Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech. He was assassinated the next day
Mary Magdalene & the Women at the Tomb – A Festival of Resurrection with Hazel Archer-Ginsberg, Song-Circle with Velsum Voices = Lucien Dante Lazar & Ultra-Violet Archer
Holy Saturday 8 April 2023
1 pm – 3pm CT a hybrid event
in-person at the Rudolf Steiner Branch 4249 North Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL 60618 (map)
& on zoom https://us06web.zoom.us/j/7050174041
Meeting ID: 705 017 4041
For more Info. contact Hag@RSChicago.org Cultural Events & Festivals Coordinator
$10 more or less…www.rschicago.org/donate
This course is available on Zoom. You will be emailed a Zoom link closer to the time of the class. The course will be recorded and you will receive a link to watch it. Go to the Infinity Foundation web site to enroll
Course Number 231154 / Zoom
Date: Thursday, May 11
Time 7:00 – 8:30 PM CST
Cost $33/23 payment 10 days in advance
When we tune into the Cycle of the Seasons, we experience that as the Earth breathes out in the Springtime, the beings of nature reach upwards towards the heights. The longing of the human soul also strives to meet this mood of ascension, which attunes all life to the cosmic expanses.
Together we will gain insights in how to rise up to our Higher Self by participating in this harmonizing spring-dialogue between the worlds.
This reconnection between heaven & earth was prefigured in the story of Jacob’s ladder from the Old Testament. Through his dream of the ‘stairway to heaven’, Jacob gave us a prophecy in the picture of a golden ladder on which choirs of Angels traverse between the ‘Above & Below’. The Mystery of the Ascension of Christ, 40 days after the Resurrection at Easter, fulfilled Jacob’s Prophecy. Christ as the Being of Love became the living bridge connecting us to the eternal.
Through this workshop we will learn how humanity will also be transfigured in the fullness of time. The company of the Angelic Hierarchies wait for us, their younger siblings, to ascend, first of all in our thinking, to meet them in fellowship, as they work all the while by our sides.
~Vitae Sophia~A Whitsun Festival of United Soul Endeavor with Hazel Archer-Ginsberg, Velsum Voices & Eurythmy
Saturday 27 May 2023 a Hybrid event in person* & on zoom
We are called to redeem the ether spheres to create an Ecclesia, a chalice for The Sophia. Then the spirit flame can spread out to become what Steiner called a “World Whitsun”, which began in earnest at the Christmas Conference. The Whitsun Festival highlights one of the greatest challenges of being human: placing our individual gifts, in right relationship within the social realm. This challenge is especially strong now during this ‘pandemic’. Our groups striving to know Spiritual Science must work together as a community, to have the possibility to create a new culture where a sacrament is possible in every encounter. Our individual strength is enhanced by weaving our gifts together, kindling our social world in conscious community.
Zoom: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/83663366670?pwd=L292UzlOR1pkZjBXSWpxK1B2b0o1dz09 Meeting ID: 836 6336 6670 / Passcode: 397593